U.S. Orchestrating South China Sea Conflict
Voice of Russia
May 11, 2012
Is US orchestrating South China Sea conflict?
Edited by RR
A war of nerves is going between China and the Philippines on account of the disputed Huangjang Island (Scarborough reef) in the South China Sea. The parties have brought into action propaganda and other levers of pressure in order to prove their sovereignty over this oil- and gas-rich water area.
Philippine activists are going to hold mass anti-Chinese actions near Chinese diplomatic missions in the country and abroad. In a way it can remind one of demonstrations in defence of human rights in China, which were held in different countries of the world during the round-the-world Olympic fire relay race before the Olympic Games of 2008 in Beijing. In response, China has warned its citizens in the Philippines that they should not leave their houses without need, nor yield to provocations and abide by increased security measures.
Due to the strained relations, China has broken off tourist contacts with the Philippines, thus significantly reducing one of the main sources of this country’s income. The situation was aggravated by the ban on the import of fruits from the Philippines issued on Thursday. China stated that it was not a political act, only that Philippine products ceased to satisfy phytosanitary control requirements. There is no confrontation between the vessels of the two countries in the disputed water area. Nevertheless, Beijing has warned that the Chinese army will not allow anyone to encroach on PRC sovereignty over the Huangjang Island.
“No one will be able to capture a single inch of Chinese land, despite all sorts of tricks, efforts aimed at gaining support of some patrons, the search for one or another accomplice,” the army newspaper Tzefantzung Bao warns.
The publication appeared immediately after a statement of the head of the MFA of the Philippines Albert del Rosario that the USA was ready to defend the Philippines in case of a conflict in the South China Sea. An expert of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems, Konstantin Sivkov, believes that Washington wouldn’t mind fishing in the South China Sea’s troubled waters:
“Of course, the USA is not interested in China’s active presence there. Therefore, on the one hand, the Americans need to prove the importance of their presence in the region to the Philippines. On the other hand, the Americans have too many problems to deal with to pay too much attention to the Philippines. The USA is rather forced to mark its involvement in the conflict and to remind about it, because it is important for maintaining its presence in Southeast Asia. One of the US main goals is to control China, otherwise the situation will be very bad for them.”
The increase of tension between Beijing and Manila coincided with the visit of Chinese Defence Minister Liang Guanle to the United States.
The situation in the South China Sea was one of the main topics during his negotiations with the head of the Pentagon, Leon Panetta. Apparently, the Chinese guest failed to convince his American partner not to encourage the Philippines’ belligerence. Washington could have sent the right message, considering its alliance with Manila, but it would not.
Washington conducts its own game: it needs the Philippines so far as it needs to facilitate gaining control over the sea routes in the area. It is for the sake of this that a US military base in the Philippines is being built, the US military presence in Australia is being strengthened, and behind the scenes efforts are being made to orchestrate the conflict between the Philippines and China in the South China Sea.